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Posted: 16 years ago
#1
Amita Chandekar
[5 Sep 2007]

"KARAN AND I ARE SEEING EACH OTHER"

AMITA CHANDEKAR, OTHERWISE FAMOUS AS THE SULTRY VAMP POOJA IN KASTURI, IS ONE OF THE MOST GLAMOROUS FACES ON TELEVISION TODAY. SHE SPORTS AN UNCONVENTIONAL SHORT HAIRDO, WEARS SARIS WITH THE TRADEMARK NOODLE STRAP BLOUSES THAT WE ALL ASSOCIATE WITH TODAY'S WICKED BAHUS, AND IS IN A CONSTANT STATE OF VILLAINOUS PLOTTING. SHE MAY PLAY A NEGATIVE CHARACTER ON SCREEN, BUT IN REAL TIME, SHE IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF THE SPITEFUL WOMAN SHE USUALLY PORTRAYS. CALM, SOFT-SPOKEN AND RETICENT ARE WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBE HER ON THE BASIS OF A FIRST IMPRESSION. WITH A LITTLE PERSUASION, SHE OPENS UP AND TALKS ABOUT MATTERS CLOSE TO HER HEART.

"Right now I am doing Kasturi. That's my only show on air, and it takes up most of my time. I don't want to over-work, as I have done that earlier. I am happy with one show, unless and until I am offered something really brilliant, something that I would not like to miss."

Amita has mostly been seen in a negative avatar in her serials, but it is not a conscious effort to pick such parts. "I started with a negative role in Kutumb, and now it's just going on and on. Either you play a negative lead or a main lead. Other than that, nothing interests me too much. Roles with grey shades give you a lot of scope to perform. I enjoy doing negative roles and being bitchy, since I am not like that in real life."

Even before her foray into the television industry, Amita was into ramp modelling. Right from her college days, she participated in inter-collegiate fashion shows, where she won the Best Model title. It was then that she got into doing professional ramp shows. "One day, I got a call from Balaji, for their serial Kutumb. One of the directors was the judge of the inter-collegiate show, and he asked me to audition for the serial Kamal on Zee. I had gone on the sets of Kutumb for the audition of Kamal, but they called me for both!"

From a ramp model to a television actress, Amita has made the transition smoothly, yet she hasn't been seen in any Bollywood film. Why is that? "I am not trying. If it happens, that is if something good comes my way, then I'll take up the offer. But it is very rare. In the film industry, you need to make your presence felt, you have to go and meet people, but I am not doing that. It's not that I am not interested in doing films; it's just that I don't want to do the entire running around bit. I am pretty happy with television," she replies honestly.

It's Amita's personal life that makes for an interesting read. At one point of time it was alleged that she was seeing actor, Kushal Punjabi. She is noncommittal about this issue. "Kushal and I share the same birthday. We were good friends. We have worked on the same show together. It's a closed chapter; I don't want to talk about it. That's it."

So were they dating each other? "No, that's it." She doesn't seem too interested in pursuing the subject anymore, so I move forward and ask her about the transition from Kushal to Karan Patel. "Transition? You are talking as if it's from one show to another," she wittily remarks.

I reframe the question and ask her about how she met Karan, her current flame, the hunk, Robbie Sabharwal in Kasturi. "Karan and I have been friends for a very long time. People think we met on the sets of Kasturi, but that's not true. Karan and my brother are actually very good friends. We hang out in the same group; Hiten-Gauri, Yash-Gouri, Karan and I have been friends for years now. Incidentally, we both started working on the same show. That's how it is."

I ask Amita about her relationship with Karan, something which she hasn't spoken much about till date. She finally admits to Showtime that they are a couple. "Yes, we are seeing each other," is all she says. All further questions on Karan are met with the question, "Is this interview about me or Karan?"

On a serious note, she adds further, "Karan is a very nice person, very involved in his work. He is very humorous. So when you are with him, you will always be laughing. He is such a fun person to hang out with. At the same time, he is dedicated to his work. There are these two different sides to him, which is nice. I like that."

So is Karan like Robbie, the character he plays in Kasturi? "Yes, he is a brat, but he is a gem of a person, very helpful, caring, mischievous, naughty and jovial. From what I know of Karan, he is a very nice person, and I think that's the best quality about him. Lots of people don't realise that he may behave like a brat and fool around all the time, but in times of need, he will always be there to help. I have seen that. You don't need to be his friend to receive help. Karan's the kind of person who will go and help a stranger."

Though they knew each other for a long time, it's been only about two months since they have been seeing each other. How did they realise that they had feelings for one another? "It's very difficult to explain. It just happened. One day, after my pack up, I stayed around to see his shoot. I was amazed to see Karan shooting for a sequence. Whether it was a song or a scene where he was required to break bottles, he did it with complete dedication. Earlier, I just thought he was a fun loving, bratty person. But after that, I started respecting him," she confesses.

She speaks further, about his acting skills. "Karan has done more shows than me. He is a better actor than me." So surely Amita must be taking acting tips from him? "Not really. We are different people and we think on a different level. Our performances are different. There is no interference in each other's work."

Talking about work, in spite of acting in the same soap, they do not get too much time with each other. "We don't shoot many sequences together. We have completely different tracks in Kasturi. Unless there is a marriage sequence or something, we aren't there together," she says.

Haven't they taken part in Nach Baliye 3, so that they can spend time together? Some reports suggest that they have been short-listed for the show's third season. "Well, I read that too. If anything like that happens, then I will announce it." But surely the channel has approached them? "I can't talk about that." Amita does not divulge much about being on Nach Baliye 3, though she admits that she likes dancing at parties and has also seen Karan dance. If they get a chance to participate in it, would she and Karan go for it? "It depends, if I have the time and the energy."

Not many would know that Karan is younger to Amita. But the age-gap is hardly something to talk about. "I am just one year older to him. It is not an issue that affects us."

Out of the very few controversies that Amita has been in, the most recent and infamous was the supposed kiss that took place between her and Karan at Gouri Tonnk's birthday bash. She is disturbed by the fact that a lot was written on this. The media's interference in a celebrity's personal space is something that she totally disagrees upon. "Yes, I am upset. It is nobody's business, and I have to make this very clear that all that was rubbish. It was a lie. Nothing like that had ever happened. We were just dancing at the party." How did she take the news?

"I really felt bad. Even Karan was taken aback. Why do people go so overboard in writing stuff, just to sensationalise their article? All this affects our personal lives and that's not right. Stars and celebrities are also human beings, we also have families and are answerable to people." She did get back to the publication that printed the article and fired them, but as she says, "Once it's done, its done. You can't do much about it."

After speaking about beau Karan Patel, we move on to her friends in the television arena. It is a known fact that she shares a good rapport with Narayani Shastri. In an industry, where catfights between actresses are common, Amita has found a close friend in Narayani. "We worked together in Piya Ka Ghar, and since then, we have been good friends. Narayani is such a sweet girl; we've known each other for a long time now.

We actually met for the first time on the sets of Kkusum. We were the only two people on the sets, who would not talk to anyone else. Not for any other reason, but simply because we both are a little reserved. Perhaps it was because of this that we got talking. When we met again on the sets of Piya Ka Ghar, we kind of picked up from where we had left. Since then, we have been buddies. In fact, she is my closest friend in this industry," she reveals.

To ask her about any impending marriage plans would be pointless, for Amita's relationship is still in its nascent stages. "I am not even thinking of marriage right now, it's too early. I still want to work. That doesn't mean I won't work after marriage. But it's too soon to talk about it. Right now, I am happy with the way things are. I believe in living in the moment, rather than planning too much for the future."

That makes sense all right!

http://magnamags.com/magna_showtime/node/1171